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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN report sees slow progress in resolving cases of Kuwaitis missing as a result of Iraq's 1990 invasion

12 December 2005 Progress in returning to Kuwait the remains of its nationals and others killed during Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion and subsequent occupation of the country has been slow because of the prevailing insecurity in Iraq, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report to the Security Council.

“Kuwait continues to face no small task in locating mass graves and in recovering and identifying mortal remains,” Mr. Annan writes, adding that he is “hopeful that new findings will take place next year and more files will be closed.”

The Secretary-General commends the “constructive” stance by the new Iraqi administration, praising its initiatives on the return of missing Kuwaiti nationals and their remains, as well as Kuwaiti property.

But he says it is troubling that there has not been more information regarding Kuwait’s missing archives. “More than two years have elapsed since the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime, and access was seemingly gained to all areas where the seized documents could possibly be located,” he says, calling on all parties to address the issue.

Mr. Annan’s report followed a visit to Kuwait last month by the High-Level Coordinator on the issue, Yuli Vorontsov. Ambassador Vorontsov has also led a joint Kuwait-Iraq mission of experts to Tunisia in September which found that spare parts and an engine belonging to Iraqi aircraft found in that country belonged to Kuwait.

“This is further evidence of the illegal removal of items from Kuwait by the previous Iraqi regime,” he says, urging the Tunisian Government to facilitate their return to Kuwait.

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